The blogger Seth Godin has said in the past that the only thing that matters in any business is shipping; that is, the ability to finish something and ship it to customers.
Another hero of mine, CD Baby founder, Derek Sivers, has an interesting chart that compares ideas with actions and the value of them. In short, the best idea on the planet is worth didly-squat in comparison with the worst idea that has been actioned.
So when it comes to productivity, only one thing counts: action.
There are hundreds of books on the subject, and I have read quite a few of them (mostly when I should have been taking action) but it all boils down to the following steps:
- Write a list of your most important projects (do this first and amend as and when)
- Write a list of the actions you need to take to progress each project (as many as you can think of, and amend as and when)
- Each evening or first thing in the morning (and that is the most important bit), prioritise the top 3 or 4
- At the start of each day, do those prioritised tasks before you do anything else (i.e. no email, facebook, twitter, pinterest, linked in)
- There are some different takes on this, including a great tip from another supreme marketer and all-round great guy, Brendon Burchard.
He recommends making a list of those people on whom you are waiting for something. Then opening your email and only scan the From field to see if any are there. Then see if the subject is about what you were expecting, and if so open it. But the most important thing is to only do that. Do not open any other emails. Only those. Then close up your email client until you have finished all your tasks.
Productivity is all about doing, and the main thing that stops you from doing is distraction. The question I always use (and ask my staff to think about) is ‘will what you are doing increase sales?’. The answer can be subtle of course. Reputation management may be a priority if someone has placed a bad review somewhere – so whilst it may not increase sales, it will help stop them getting worse.
If you liked this short and productive bit of help, enter your email in the box on the top right and help yourself to a lot more. I would be delighted to have you on board.